'No Child Left Behind' Report Card: Disadvantaged Students' Graduation Rates Continue to Improve | U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Mar 19, 2015 - 9:00am

'No Child Left Behind' Report Card: Disadvantaged Students' Graduation Rates Continue to Improve


Vice President of Education Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Graduation rates for disadvantaged students continue to rise, according to data released this week by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. This information is important and timely given the debate happening on Capitol Hill regarding the reauthorization of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

NCLB is the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was first passed in 1965 to help ensure that disadvantaged students including Hispanic, black, English language learners, and students with disabilities have access to a high-quality public education.

After years of flat educational progress with these student groups, a bipartisan group of policy makers in 2002 implemented three important provisions in the updated law — annual assessments, public reporting of data, and accountability.

And you know what? These three provisions are working.

Here’s a look at the data.

Despite the progress that has been made by these students, there are those who’d rather do away with what is working. Catchy phrases that have been focused-group tested like “drill and kill,” “high-stakes testing,” and “test and punish” are used by those who are more concerned about the adults’ well-being than the students’.

The facts show assessments, public reporting and accountability are working. 

You can’t argue with hard data.

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About the Author

About the Author

Vice President of Education Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Cheryl A. Oldham is vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is also senior vice president of the education and workforce program of the U.S.